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Depression: A Stubborn Darkness–Light for the Path (Resources for Changing Lives)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  663 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
This book gives new hope to those who struggle with depression, and for the people who love them. Dr. Ed Welch writes compassionately on the complex nature of depression and sheds light on the path toward deep, lasting healing. Welch considers the spiritual, medical, and emotional factors that contribute to depression. Even more important is his insight into the impact of ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by New Growth Press (first published October 1st 2000)
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Louisa Black
This is one of the most compassionate and most accurate descriptions on depression I've read so far.

I found myself nodding along a lot as the author talked about depression to those who suffer from this illness but also it opened my eyes to what the carer or loved ones of people who suffer from mental illness see or go through.

During the time I had this illness, I found it so difficult to read anything. Especially connecting sentences, paragraphs or making any sense at all of what point was bein
Matt Kottman
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counselling, 2015
Excellent book for those who suffer from depression or those who want to help those suffering from depression. Welch's insights are theologically robust, compassionate, and applied in tangible ways.
Emily Cook
"God sometimes puts his children to bed in the dark."

True enough. But how do we wrap our minds around that? How do we move forward, still in pain, and trust? How is it possible to keep living even in the dark?

This book is an honest, yet gentle help for the depressed spirit. While admitting that there are biological components to depression and encouraging medical treatment for them, this author addresses the spiritual questions and struggles that are often intertwined.

"What depressed people need
April Knapp
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Welch's book is some of the most insightful and helpful information I've read about the struggle with depression. He not only addresses those who struggle with depression, but also their loved ones. As a person who struggles with depression, I think this book is an excellent resource for family members, spouses, and friends who want to better understand (or understand at all) the struggle of their depressed loved ones.

It's also an excellent resource for those of who struggle/have struggled/will
Michael Banh
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really good book on depression and how to understand it! It has taught me a lot about the subject of depression and shown me how to not only deal with it in my own life, but how to respond to others in the midst of depression. There are parts where he could have been a bit more compassionate and sensitive, but overall he does a good job of relating and sympathizing.
Steven Wedgeworth
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a really solid book. Good writing, nice mix of exegesis and pastoral presentation. The format was engaging as well. This is one that you should be giving out to folks.
This book is for depressed people and those who love them. Welch looks at what depression is and what can be done to deal with it. I have two minor problems with the book:

1. The book assumes that the depressed reader is able to read the book rationally and put the steps into practice honestly and without the depression warping everything, which is not always true of depressed people.

2. The book assumes that the depressed person has multiple people in their life who are willing and able to suppor
Ashley Taylor
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent resource on depression. Mercifully short, it gets right to the heart of depression and gives an accessible method for doing the hard spiritual work of battling depression.
Donnie II
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon often battled with bouts of depression. In deep ways he wrestled with a most heinous mental health issue which plagued him most of his life. In the midst of ministering to others he remarked that, "I have sometimes been the means in God’s hand of heling a man who suffered with a desponding spirit.  But the help I have rendered has cost me dearly.  Hours after, I have been myself depressed, and I have felt an inability to shake it off."
He continues in another p
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good stuff. Even more applicable than the Addictions book we read. More...gracious? than I was expecting for a Christian book on depression...i.e. it went deeper than "What's the problem? Just rejoice in the Lord always!"

Favorite quotes:

"Don't just speak the prayers so that your depression can lift. Speak them because they are true and because they are evidence of Christ's work in you." (60)

"Your goal is to get into a manna rhythm. Seek his grace today, be faithful to the tasks in front of you
I would give ten stars if I could.
This is one of the best books I ever have read in my entire life.
Read it, if you want to became more mature and not childisch.
If you want to know more about the hidden maschinery that we call human being.
I would say the issue of Depression is only the gate to introduce you to a world
in wich joy and peace are attainable.
With the Word of God and in the power of the Spirit here in this book we find really a weappon against
So, I recommend strongly this
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Reading this book to shed light on depression for myself, family members, and eventually helping people through postpartum in Lactation Consulting. No one can be happy all the time - when do you know that you are fighting depression? Looking for helpful anwswers in this book.

*************Update after finishing***************

I really appreciate this book. Especially the end on humility, hope, and joy. Even at the worst times in our lives there are things to be thankful for and things to find joy
Emily Blake
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counseling
Such a fantastic book. I felt so empowered against depression while I was reading it. Constantly as I read it I was thinking of all the people I wanted to loan it to. Welch does a REALLY good job of dispelling some of the myths about depression and looking at the real causes and solutions. He integrates scripture so smoothly and appropriately to back his writing. Even if you've never struggled with depression I would read this book anyways. It will prepare you to help friends and for your own ba ...more
Julie Gentino
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
I would recommend this book to anyone who has either suffered from depression or is close to someone who suffers from depression. I appreciate Welch's balanced perspective: he does not take a hard stance against medication, yet he does firmly believe that wise counsel and the Word of God are essential in ministering to the deep heart issues surrounding depression. He is gifted at showing Scripture's relevance to suffering. I also appreciate how extremely practical this book is - every chapter gi ...more
Jun 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A book that drew me back to read it again. Welch doesn't give pat answers or simple solutions but draws sufferers of depression to examine heart issues and leads them to find true hope in spite of the pain. Very wise.
Cristine Braddy
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for everyone not just those that struggle with depression. I found some life changing thoughts and challenges.
Leandro Guimarães
An useful primer on how to deal with depression, taking into due account both the Biblical (as dominating perspective) and psychological (as in tools and contemporary vocabulary) sources.
David Dunlap
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helpful primer on depression, stressing the heart and its idol-making propensities as the root cause. Welch admits there may be physical and/or chemical issues involved as well, and these are worth investigating, but the major problem with depression is a vertical one -- the individual sufferer's relationship to God (or lack thereof). Some very helpful, concrete, actions that can be taken to combat this insidious issue, as well as suggestions that have assisted other sufferers, conclude this sho ...more
Harold Cameron
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book Depression – Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness, written by licensed psychologist, faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, (CCEF), and author Dr. Edward T. Welch, Ph.D. is a most helpful guide to better understanding depression and possible options for the treatment of depression. On the back cover of the book the question is posed, “Where Is God in the Struggle” in regards to depression. And being an individual who lives with 2 brain tumors and exper ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very hard book to get through. Worth getting through though. I started this book while in the midst of severe depression. It was like that bitter medicine you force down cause you know it is good for you. Glad that I finally finished it. Now I'd like to pick up some more of this author's books. Very relatable & real assessments on the craziness that goes on inside your head during depression.
Daniel Baltich
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent pamphlet dealing with the struggles of depression.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastoral
"When you are depressed, how can you take a step, let alone a journey? When all vital energy is devoted to staying alive and just making it to the next hour, how can you add anything else - like hope - to your day?" So begins this wise and compassionate book by Ed Welch. Whether you are a someone who struggles with depression yourself, or someone who desires to help those who do, Depression: A Stubborn Darkness will prove an informed and biblically-faithful resource.

The book is divided into an i
Lee Nickles
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really excellent, insightful look at depression and how to combat it. The chapters on anger and failure/shame are worth much on their own.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sound and deeply compassionate look at depression from a Christian counseling perspective. Through careful exegesis of Scripture, tender searching of the heart's issues, and a sound grasp on what depression is and what it is not, Welch pierces to the most important issues that are present, looking at the heart issues that depression reveals rather than simply focusing on trying to get rid of depression. With one of the better approaches to dealing with medication that I've seen in this topic ( ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I were hard-pressed to recommend only one book on the topic of depression, this would be it. Here, Ed Welch is not only theological but compassionate almost to a fault whilst being firm where he needs to be. He gleans from his own experience as a counsellor as well as numerous secondary resources including the latest research in medicine and psychology, in order to be helpful in every possible way to the reader.
I highly recommend this book to anyone either suffering directly from depression
Steve Hemmeke
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When depressed your thoughts and feelings are off track. It takes a fight of fith to listen to proper thoughts in the Word and from other people, instead of your own. You will only engage in that fight if you really want to change. Many depressed people would rather stay as they are than fight that battle. But there is hope for far more, if you do fight! Practical, comforting, and truth-speaking, this booklet will lead you out of depression, to the Lord Jesus and His Word. There's a great last p ...more
Summer Backstrom
By far the most useful book on depression I've ever read.
Helpful teaching for depressed people or their loved ones

Ed Welch, gets inside of depressed people. He covers many different causes of depression, and directs the reader to the Bible and the hope of the gospel on each one. I read this book to help others struggling with depression. It is helpful for that, you will gain empathy and understanding. It also is great at helping individuals caught in the quicksand of depression.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot from this simply written, straightforward book. I was also pleasantly surprised to see well employed quotes/references from authors outside of the conservative Christian fold, like Jürgen Moltmann, Robert C. Solomon, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.

I would highly recommend this to anyone struggling with Depression, coming alongside of someone with Depression, or simply wanting to learn a bit about Depression.
Mike Rue
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a huge help to those who suffer from depression. Contrary to negative reviews, Welch does not condemn antidepressants. Rather, he sees depression as a much more complicated issue. Antidepressants may be what someone needs, but we ought not to rush in to them. There may be more underlying issues that make us struggle so. This book brings clarity in the sense that whereas depression may be biological, sin is always a culprit, and Christ is always the ultimate answer.
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Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He has counseled for thirty years and is the best-selling author of many books including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away ...more
More about Edward T. Welch...

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“Notice how those who have medicated away their hardships with illegal drugs, alcohol, or sex can seem immature. They may look forty-five, but they have the character of an adolescent. Find a person who has weathered storms rather than avoided them and you will find someone who is wise.” 8 likes
“Faith feels many different ways. It can be buoyant; it can be depressed and lifeless. Feelings don’t define faith. Instead, faith is simply turning to the Lord.” 7 likes
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